South Africa and Russia sign nuclear deal


9 July 2015

South Africa and Russia have signed two memoranda of understanding that are aimed at strengthening efforts between the two countries in the field of nuclear energy, according to the South African Department of Energy.

The documents were signed at the seventh Brics Summit on 8 July between the Department of Energy and the Russian state-owned nuclear company, Rosatom. The summit is taking place in Ufa, Russia. Rosatom unites about 400 nuclear companies and research and development institutions that operate in the civilian and defence sectors.

The first memorandum is on co-operation in training personnel for the South African nuclear power industry; the second is on co-operation in enhancement of public awareness of nuclear energy in South Africa.

Regarding the former, the two countries intend to implement several joint projects for education in the nuclear power industry.

“The countries will co-operate in order to provide training for five categories of specialists for the South African nuclear industry: nuclear power plant personnel, engineers and construction workers, staff for operations not related to the power industry, personnel for nuclear infrastructure, students and teachers,” said the department.

Education programmes will be available to 200 South Africans at Russian universities and educational organisations.

Exchange programmes and internships

The memorandum also stipulates the development of educational materials and scientific literature on nuclear power, exchange programmes for students at various levels of training, internships and summer courses, student competitions and teacher training.

The second agreement, on public awareness of nuclear energy, stipulates joint efforts by the parties aimed at promoting nuclear power in South Africa, increasing the awareness of local residents of modern nuclear technologies used in the power industry and in other industries, and ensuring public acceptance of nuclear power.

“In particular, the parties have agreed to work out a plan for the implementation of a joint communication programme to be launched in South Africa. The programme will involve the organisation of roundtables and other events aimed at the promotion of nuclear power and modern nuclear technologies,” explained the department.

Rosatom and the Department of Energy will also consider the creation of a Nuclear Energy Information Centre in South Africa. The parties will seek to exchange information and best practices in the nuclear industry by organising working visits and international conferences and exhibitions.

“The memoranda signed in Ufa represent another stage in the co-operation between the two countries aimed at strengthening joint efforts between Russia and South Africa in the field of nuclear energy.”